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Battery Technology: A Different Kind of Power Struggle

Oct 26, 2016 | 09:17 GMT
Over the past three decades, lithium-ion batteries have become the industry standard in battery technology -- but they are nearing their limit.
Over the past three decades, lithium-ion batteries have become the industry standard in battery technology -- but they are nearing their limit.
(DAVID BECKER/Getty Images)

The lithium battery is in no danger of losing its spot atop the pile of commercial battery technologies anytime soon. The ubiquitous technology meets the two most important criteria for batteries used in consumer electronics and electric vehicles: It can store high amounts of energy for its size, and it can be recharged thousands of times. But if batteries are ever to reach their full potential as a geopolitically disruptive technology, they still have a long way to go in improving energy density and lifetime and, perhaps more important, reducing cost. In the long term, as more abundant elements are adapted for wider use in batteries, they may eventually force the lithium-ion battery from its throne. Until then, lithium will continue to play an integral role in powering our world....

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